IMF Approves US$699.5 Million Loan To Belarus

(RTTNews) - The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday approved a loan of US$699.5 million to Belarus, following its second review of the economy under the Stand-By Arrangement program. This brings the total amount disbursed so far to US$ 2.23 billion. In June, the lender agreed to increase the financial assistance to US$ 3.63 billion.

The IMF's Deputy Managing Director Takatoshi Kato said Belarus made good progress in adjusting its policies to weather the global crisis, with the economic contraction being relatively moderate compared to other credit-hit countries. Exchange rate adjustments moreover helped to reduce external vulnerabilities. "The adjustment has been supported by a tight fiscal policy, with revenue shortfalls offset by spending cuts, and by an interest rate policy that has kept market rates high in real terms", Kato said.

Further, the country made good progress with regard to structural reforms, aimed at improving the business climate and facilitating private sector development. The Executive Board also welcomed the financial sector reforms made.

"Securing sufficient financial resources from the international community is essential for Belarus' reform efforts. In this context, the authorities stand ready to implement contingency measures should a financing gap emerge", the IMF added.



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